“Since ancient times artists and architects have seen in the golden mean the most aesthetically satisfying geometric ratio.”
Stephen M. Barr
“Geometry has two great treasures: one is the Theorem of Pythagoras; the other, the division of a line into extreme and mean ratio. The first we may compare to a measure of gold; the second we may name a precious jewel.”
Previously I offered a brief overview of the role that Phi (Φ) supposedly plays in relation to form and the understanding of creating images.
Frequently some commentators imply that following such a set of mathematical rules is all that is necessary to imbibe the creative process with harmonious elements and can be applied in all circumstances and disciplines.
“The good is always beautiful, and the beautiful never lacks proportion.”
Many, whether they are artists, architects, musicians or in other creative fields have endeavoured to apply such a concept to their philosophy and thinking as an integral element in their attempts to create a form that is both “beautiful” and harmonious.
If the ancient architects deliberately included specific mathematical ratios and shapes in their structures it may have had nothing to do with aesthetics, but with a desire to achieve some mystical harmony with nature rather than an aesthetic goal.
“[The universe] cannot be read until we have learnt the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written.”
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
Image Credit © Megalithic Temple, Malta, c. 3000 -700 BCE
Image Credit © The Pyramids, Egypt, c.2630 BCE
Image Credit The Parthenon, Greece, c. 438 BCE, Image © THINKSTOCK
Image Credit © Al Khazneh, Petra, Jordan, c. 100 ACE
Image Credit © Leshan Giant Buddha,China, c.713-803 ACE, Image © THINKSTOCK
Image Credit © Sacsaywaman, Peru, c.900-1200 ACE
Image Credit © Machu Picchu, Peru, c. 1450 ACE
Image Credit © Taj Mahal, India, 1632
Image Credit © Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain, 1882 – to date